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Category: Scroggin

Expand the View

Expand the View

I recently had a lengthy email correspondence with another transplanted Logan County native. We have different backgrounds and no ancestors in common but when we started talking our ancestors, collaterals and their families brushed at so many spots that I learned new things.


This indicates to me it would be worthwhile to expand our somewhat limited view and see what turns up.


If you have any connection to these lines or think you might – or know anything that might be interesting – I want to hear from you.


This is my maternal grandfather’s direct male line [with spouses]. This is what is used for most DNA, which will come up later. 


Ellis Downing [1888-1978] m L. Ethel Ryan [1892-1975]
so
William H. Downing [1863-1903] m. Eliza S. Harding [1869-1942]
so
William N. Downing [1839-1865] m. Delilah J. Downing [1842-1909]
so
Samuel Downing [1794-1866] m. Margaret Matthews [1797-1836] m. Mary Matthews Day [1800-1847]
so
George Downing [1867-1848] m. Elizabeth Bennett [1772-1802] m. Winifred Downing [1778-1841]
so
Timothy Downing [c 1744-c 1800] m. unknown m. Mary Chenoweth [1749-after 1791]
so
brick wall


Samuel Downing came to Logan County with his second wife Mary Matthews. Samuel was born in Maryland, lived many years in Ohio and came to Illinois. Mary was born in Ohio. Samuel’s first wife Margaret was Mary’s sister. Samuel’s brother Thomas, members of his assorted families and various members of the Matthews family also came to Logan County. According to family history John Matthews, father of Margaret, Mary and others, was born in Ulster, Ireland. This is important.


Samuel’s father and grandfather were also born in Maryland.


Note that there are two Downing-Downing marriages. Delilah is the daughter of Robert, son of John, all of Logan County. John came from “Virginia” which, at the time, could be about anywhere. Before his father James he is a blank.


Winifred is the daughter of Joseph, another Downing line living in Pike County, Ohio, but Joseph came there from Maryland. Before that he is a blank.


To the best of anyone’s knowledge and all research to date, these three lines are not related.


Enter DNA. DNA testing indicates that all three [and one or two others tested] have a common ancestor back about the above Timothy’s grandfather. This totally ruins my theory that they came by UFO, a theory which conveniently explains some relatives. 


Further, testing indicates they came from Ulster. It appears likely, from research in yet another DNA matched line which my ancestors did not marry, that this common ancestor came in through District 96, South Carolina. This will come up again. Sarah Kirby and Humphrey Scroggin were married there. But that’s another line.


See, we already have circles.

Charles Harper, Choctaw Indian, in Logan County

Charles Harper, Choctaw Indian, in Logan County

Several years ago I received this story from Valerie Anlage of Maryland. It is about her ancestor Charles Harper, a Choctaw Indian who settled in Logan County. The narrative includes John Andrew and Esther Jane Scroggin Buckles, my ancestors.

“In 1903 many of my ancestors applied to the Dawes Commission for identification as Missisippi Choctaws with the hopes of obtaining land in Oklahoma. They all claimed to be descendants of Charles HARPER, a full-blooded Choctaw Indian. One of the applicants requested that the Commission secure testimonies from Esther Jane (SCROGGIN) and John BUCKELS, aged 75 and 80 years respectively, of Mt. Pulaski, Illinois in support of his application.

“That the testimony of the said witnesses is material to affiants claim; that each of said witnesses if present would testify that he and she knew Charles Harper, through whom petitioner…claim(s) (his) Indian blood; that they also knew the wife of Charles Harper, and the children of Charles Harper and his wife, and many of their grand children and great grand children; that Charles Harper and his wife lived together as man and wife and were known and respected as such in the community in which they lived; that Charles Harper was a full-blood Choctaw Indian…”

Other witnesses named include Leonard K Scroggins, aged 83 of Mt. Pulaski, Polly Ridgeway and Robert Cass, each over 80, both of Buffalo Hart Grove, and Lydia Burke, also over 80 and living in Cornland.

As far as I know, Charles HARPER arrived in what would become Logan County in 1828.